Between the Lines
Sat 20 Aug 11 - Sun 20 Nov 11
A unique exhibition of textile sculptures is to go on display in the new Fashion & Textile Gallery at The Bowes Museum.
Created by textile artist Naseem Darbey, the display is a dramatic showcase of her techniques with theatrical shadow sculptures, inspired by the exciting but short life of fashionable socialite Mary Louise Roosevelt Burke Butterfield.
Mary Louise was the American wife of textile magnate Henry Butterfield of Cliffe Castle in Yorkshire; now a museum. Naseem spent a year’s residency there, delving into the collections and revealing the fascinating stories behind them.
The artist found her muse in the poignant and previously un-translated letters written by Mary Louise, which stirred her into producing stunning pieces such as the moving and powerful sculpture entitled ‘if your heart is not nailed to Cliffe Hall’ – the central piece in the Between the Lines exhibition which opens at the Barnard Castle treasure house in August.
During Mary Louise’s brief life – she died aged just 29 – her presence at Cliffe Castle was fleeting, as she preferred to reside at the family’s Paris home. Consequently, she attended the court of Napoleon III and Empress Eugénie, and was a contemporary of The Bowes Museum’s founder, Joséphine Bowes, who lived in Paris at that time.
One of Naseem’s new pieces is based on Mary Louise’s surviving bodice, which links in with the Empress Eugénie’s bodices in The Bowes Museum collection, which are on display in the new Fashion & Textile Gallery.
As an artist and visual storyteller, Naseem explores the relationship between drawing and textiles. Through direct observation she creates ‘hollow’ drawings and 3D installations using stitchwork. Her unique and complex works commence with her drawing directly with a sewing machine, before they are eventually transformed into three-dimensional sculptures each telling their own unique story.
Naseem will be leading workshops during the exhibition, which is on loan from Bradford Museum & Galleries as the result of a residency with Arts Council England funding. It opens at The Bowes Museum on Saturday 20 August, running until Sunday 20 November 2011.
See Embroidery April Issue for a feature on Naseem Darbey ’s work - www.naseemdarbey.com
See the following blog for a review of the Between the Lines exhibition.